Saturday, Apr 21, 2018
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Structures in region incur sizable damage


Fallen tree branches rest atop power lines along Louisiana Avenue in Perrysburg. More than 12,000 customers in the region may have lost power.

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A line of violent storms packing strong winds and possible tornadoes swept across northwest Ohio and southeast Michigan on Sunday, downing power lines and trees and damaging homes and businesses through the region.

The roof of the rectory of St. Barbara’s Catholic Church in Cloverdale, Ohio, in Putnam County was peeled off and winds damaged at least seven buildings in an industrial and business park in Perrysburg Township, including several that may have been destroyed, authorities said.

No tornado reports were confirmed, the National Weather Service in Cleveland said. However, most of the state was under a tornado watch for most of the day and into the night.

Through late Sunday, no major injuries were reported.

UPDATE: Owners assess damage to homes, businesses after powerful storms hit area

Calls from residents throughout Wood and Lucas counties about fires in trees from downed, arcing power lines kept police and law enforcement busy. Some utility poles were sheared off by the strong winds, and numerous transformer fires were reported as well.

One of the hardest-hit areas was Cedar Park, a business park near Rt. 795 and Oregon Road, across from the Walgreen Distribution Center. Seven buildings were damaged in the wind storm, causing a natural-gas leak and evacuations of the area.

No one was killed or seriously injured, Perrysburg Township Fire Chief Tom Brice said, but one person in one of the buildings sought medical treatment at a local hospital.

“We have got significant damage to structures in the Cedar Park business district. Some of the buildings are completely destroyed from the assessment that I got. We also got several homes damaged in the Starbright subdivision on State Rt. 795 and Oregon Road,” Chief Brice said.

Chris Kozak, spokesman for Columbia Gas of Ohio, said service to the seven buildings in the business park was shut off as was service to three homes nearby.

Lucas County Sheriff John Tharp said trees were uprooted and toppled onto roads, and power lines, roofs, and siding were blown off structures throughout the areas patrolled by deputies, including Bono, Monclova Township, Waterville Township, and Springfield Township.

Wind speeds of 85 miles per hour were recorded about 5:30 p.m. in Bowling Green and 80 mph at 6:45 p.m. at a location on Perry Street in Tiffin, the weather service said.

A duplex in Jerry City was destroyed during the severe weather Sunday night. Two homes near the residence on the corner of Main Street and Huffman Road also were damaged, a fire official said.

Four people who were inside the duplex were taken to the hospital with minor injuries. One of those transported was a child. About eight people were inside at the time of the storm.

Only two walls remained at the duplex, Cygnet Fire Capt. Chris Rayle said. Officials were working to determine how the residence was damaged, he said.

Most of Main Street was closed off as officials attempted to deal with downed electrical wires.

Ahead of the storm, the Toledo Zoo announced plans to close at 5 p.m. because of the potential for severe weather. Plans call for the zoo to resume normal hours today with the zoo reopening at 10 a.m.

More than 95,000 customers across Ohio were without electricity Sunday night, including nearly 12,000 AEP-Ohio users in Allen, Defiance, Paulding, Putnam, Seneca, and Wood counties. About 600 customers of Toledo Edison in northern Ohio also were without service, according to the utility’s Web site.

Thousands of Michigan residents were in the dark. DTE Energy in southeastern Michigan raised its number to 60,000 customers. Wayne County is hit the hardest.

Heavy afternoon rains soaked football fans in Cincinnati where the Bengals beat the Cleveland Browns. Some pregame activities outside the stadium had to be canceled because of the forecast.

St. Barbara’s Church on Main Street in Cloverdale, northwest of Ottawa in Putnam County, was pounded by the wind storm. Not only was the roof ripped off the rectory, significant damage was reported to homes in the village. There was no confirmation of a tornado in Cloverdale.

Sally Oberski, Diocese of Toledo spokesman, said the church may have been slightly damaged, but the rectory incurred extensive damage. She said no one was living in the rectory, recently used to house an elderly priest.

The strong winds were blamed for toppling mobile homes and power lines onto trees, said Steve Odenweller, Putnam County public service coordinator. “There is significant damage, but we do not have reports of anybody injured,” he said.

An emergency shelter was set up Sunday night in Oak Haven Residential Care Center in Cloverdale for residents affected by the storm or without power. The American Red Cross was called to assist those who showed up at the assisted-living facility.

In many villages and cities, including Toledo, motorists were being detoured around roads blocked with downed trees or branches. There were reports of garage doors blown onto vehicles.

Crews were checking mobile home communities for damage; heavy damage was reported at Friendly Village in Perrysburg Township.

Hollywood Casino Toledo was in the dark after the storm, and at one local theater, patrons were evacuated into a long, narrow hallway until the storm passed. There were no problems, one theater-goer reported, with people behaving in an orderly fashion. Movie-goers were given raincheck passes.

Multiple vehicle crashes occurred on northbound I-75 in Rossford near Buck Road.

In Oregon, several homes on Lallendorf Road near Seaman Road sustained damage and an awning on the Meijer at Wheeling Street and Curtice Roads blew off and went onto the store’s roof, where it poked holes and caused flooding in the store, Oregon Fire Chief Ed Ellis said. Oregon City Schools announced Sunday they’d operate today on a two-hour delay.

The Sundance Kid Drive-in on Navarre Avenue also was reported to have been damaged by the high winds.

Oregon Administrator Mike Beazley said the Municipal Building with city offices and the police department was slightly damaged.

Staff writers Janet Romaker, Taylor Dungjen, and Kris Turner contributed to this report.

Contact Mark Reiter at: or 419-724-6199.

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